Humboldt Flour Mills Co. v. Nordick, (1979) 71 Sask.R. 203 (CA)

Judge:Culliton, C.J.S., Brownridge and Hall, JJ.A.
Court:Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan
Case Date:November 06, 1979
Jurisdiction:Saskatchewan
Citations:(1979), 71 Sask.R. 203 (CA)
 
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Humboldt Flour Mills Co. v. Nordick (1979), 71 Sask.R. 203 (CA)

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Humboldt Flour Mills Co. Ltd. (plaintiff/respondent) v. Edward Nordick (defendant/appellant)

(No. 7031)

Indexed As: Humboldt Flour Mills Co. v. Nordick

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal

Culliton, C.J.S., Brownridge and Hall, JJ.A.

November 6, 1979.

Summary:

The defendant grower contracted to sell his 1973 mustard seed crop to the plaintiff buyer at a relatively fixed price. Subsequently a jump in the market price of mustard seed brought competitor purchasers into the area. The defendant grower sold his 1973 crop to one such competitor at a higher price. The plaintiff buyer sued the defendant grower for damages for breach of contract.

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, in a decision reported in paragraphs 4 to 29 below, allowed the buyer's action against the grower and assessed damages for breach of contract. The defendant grower appealed.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, apart from amending the pleadings, dismissed the appeal. The defendant grower applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada refused leave to appeal. See 31 N.R. 359; 1 Sask.R. 418.

Editor's note: These decisions are being reported at this time at the request of a subscriber.

Contracts - Topic 5643

Unenforceable contracts - Uncertainty and vagueness - Uncertainty - The defendant grower contracted to sell his 1973 mustard seed crop to the plaintiff buyer at a relatively fixed price - The contract set out the price to be paid for each grade of mustard seed and then stated "sample grades to be negotiated" - The grower did not submit a sample as required by contract - There was no evidence as to what grade the grower's seed would have been classified - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal affirmed that the price was only vague if the seed was actually "sample grade"; the court affirmed that even assuming the seed was graded "sample", the buyer must pay a reasonable price under s. 10(2) of the Sale of Goods Act - The court affirmed that the contract was not unenforceable because of vagueness or ambiguity respecting price - See paragraphs 20 to 23.

Sale of Goods - Topic 6403

Breach - What constitutes - The defendant grower contracted to sell his 1973 crop of mustard seed to the plaintiff buyer at a relatively fixed price - A jump in the market price of mustard seed brought competitor purchasers into the area - The grower sold his 1973 crop to one such competitor - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal affirmed that the grower knowingly and wilfully breached his contract with the plaintiff, who was entitled to damages - See paragraphs 1, 5 to 8, 25 - The court affirmed the trial judge's calculation of damages - See paragraphs 3, 26 to 29.

Trade Regulation - Topic 3705

Marketing of agricultural products - Grain - Federal licensing of grain dealers - Section 69(1) of the Canada Grain Act required purchasers of western grain to be licensed - Section 69(2) exempted the licensing requirement respecting contracts for the purchase of grain without reference to any grade name, where the consideration was to be paid in full upon, inter alia, delivery - A contract for the purchase of mustard seed referred to yellow mustard seed (the class name) and the grade, but not to grade and class name together - Payment was due "immediately ... when grade and dockage is established" - The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal affirmed that the contract was one "without reference to any grade name" - The court held that determining the grade and dockage was part of delivery - The court held that the subject contract was exempt from the licensing requirements under s. 69(2) - See paragraphs 1, 13 to 19.

Cases Noticed:

Montana Mustard Seed Co. Inc. v. Continental Grain Co. (Canada) Ltd. and Franks, [1974] 4 W.W.R. 695, affd. 15 N.R. 459 (S.C.C.), appld. to [para. 14].

Montana Mutual Seed Co. v. Gates (1963), 42 W.W.R.(N.S.) 303, agreed with [para. 23].

Statutes Noticed:

Canada Grain Act - see Grain Act.

Grain Act, S.C. 1970-71-72, c. 7, sect. 2(15), sect. 15(1) [para. 15]; sect. 69(1) [paras. 13, 17]; sect. 69(2) [paras. 13-14, 17-18].

Sale of Goods Act, R.S.S. 1965, c. 388, sect. 10, sect. 10(2) [para. 23]; sect. 50 [para. 28].

Counsel:

A. Kapoor and William A. Selnes, for the appellant;

N.G. Gabrielson, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard before Culliton, C.J.S., Brownridge and Hall, JJ.A., of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. The decision of the Court of Appeal was delivered orally by Culliton, C.J.S., on November 6, 1979.

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